As much as I hate to say it, the folk over in the Android camp had one thing that I wanted so much that I thought about buying one of their phones. I didn’t, but it was a blip in my thought process.

The feature that I wanted so dearly was Google Goggles, a visual search feature that, up to now, was only available on the Android platform. As of now, Google Goggles is a new feature in the Google Mobile app — you know, the one that lets you speak your searches and gives you locally relevant results.

Instead of going through needless searches to identify a visual object like a building, for example, Google Goggles uses the iPhone camera to identify what is in the picture. Like any new technology, it doesn’t work 100% of the time, and doesn’t recognize somethings like animals, plants, or food, but it does do a great job identifying anything with a clear label (including wine, as shown in the video), various points of interest, and even foreign languages (it’ll translate to English). Give Google some time and I’m sure it’ll identify people and animals (including their names and birthdays), but that’s for the future.

Google Mobile only works with the English language and requires the auto focusing camera of the iPhone 3GS or 4, leaving iPhone 3G owners out of the loop. Like everything Google, the app is also free so be sure to pick it up today!

[Source: Google Blog]

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Reference